Saturday, December 20, 2014

New York Foundation for the Arts

About a year ago I submitted several of my collages to the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) prestigious Artist Fellowship. Every year the NYFA awards an unrestricted monetary grant to artists living and working in New York State. This year a record number of artists applied (over 4,000) in a variety of categories. I was told by colleagues in the arts not to get my hopes up of winning, because the Artist Fellowship is very competitive and not easy to attain. I decided to try anyway and felt that I would be a success if I got past the first round (the review process consists of three rounds and each round is judged by a panel of jurors). Off and on over the course of the year I wondered where my submission was in the review process. I would periodically check NYFA's website to see if they had made a final selection of Fellowship winners. Finally, after waiting almost a year, I learned that my submission was not selected for a 2014 Artist Fellowship. Although there was very little hope of actually being awarded the grant I believe I am a winner anyway. I feel good knowing that I have given it my all. I have learned that it is important to explore all opportunities and be proactive both professionally and personally. Above all, I want to be a good role model for my son and the children I teach. Anything is possible if you work hard and have dreams.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blue Mountain Gallery Juried Exhibition

I am so proud that one of my original collages has been selected to be in Blue Mountain Gallery's second juried exhibition. The juried exhibition features the work of thirty artists from across the country and represent a range of styles. This year’s work was selected from over a thousand entries by painter John Dubrow. Since 2005 Dubrow has been represented by Lori Bookstein Fine Art, and has a substantial career as a figurative painter.

Blue Mountain Gallery is nearing its 35th year as a New York artist cooperative. The gallery sponsors juried exhibitions and maintains a calendar of lectures and panels to complement a continuing schedule of one-person shows at its Chelsea location.

The exhibit will run from Dec 23, 2014 - Jan. 24th, 2015. The Opening Reception will be held on January 8, 2015 from 5 - 8pm at Blue Mountain Gallery.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Original Collage Selected for Juried Exhibition

Montauk, one of my original collages, has been selected for a Juried Exhibition at the Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City. The exhibit will run from Dec 23, 2014 - Jan. 24th, 2015. The Opening Reception will be held on January 8, 2015 from 5 - 8pm.

Blue Mountain Gallery, founded in 1980, is an artist cooperative gallery that shows a wide range of artists. Juror John Dubrow, a prominent American painter, selected all the artwork for this exhibition.

See Blue Mountain Gallery website for further details:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bronxville Pop-Up Art Show

Three of my original collages will be on exhibit with 25 other emerging artists in the 2nd Bronxville Pop-Up Art Show on September 13 and 14, 2014. A vacant storefront in the heart of Bronxville village will be repurposed into a gallery space. The Pop-Up Art Show is curated by Cara Garcia Bou, an Advertising and Marketing Associate at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I am thrilled that my artwork has been selected to be in the show. It is a great opportunity for a local artist like me to share my artwork with the Bronxville community.

Saturday September 13 to Sunday September 14

Opening Reception:
September 13 from 5pm - 9pm

66 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY 10708


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Group Art Project

For several summers I have taught art to middle school age children at the Hoff-Barthelson Summer Arts Program in Scarsdale, NY. One of the art projects the children enjoy and look forward to is creating a mural. Often children are working independently on art projects, so I like to give students the opportunity to work together on a class project. I think collaborating with others is very important for children to experience. The theme is the HB summer arts program. We begin by brainstorming, which is a great way for children to get their ideas across. All ideas are valuable and given thoughtful consideration. I guide the students as we go so that decisions are made, and the group agrees on a final layout of the mural. Then I discuss with the children how they will execute their ideas. I stress that they should think outside the box and use new art techniques and materials. The mural above incorporated sponging, sand in the paint to create texture (grass), pasta for the pine tree and foam shapes for the leaves on the tree. Cardboard was used for some of the elements to create dimension and break the plane of the paper. I introduced the children to dry brush, which was used on the tree (bark texture) and the roof of the house (shingle look). The idea for the plane flying over the school came from a boy, who had just been at the beach where he saw a plane with an advertisement on a banner. One child contributed the idea of putting themselves in the mural. Then another child chimed in that they should put themselves in the windows. Everyone made their own self portraits. The children enjoyed spending time getting themselves to look just right. The mural took four days to complete. I made sure that each child made a contribution, so it was fair. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ArtsWestchester Teaching Artist
After a rigorous renewal process ArtsWestchester has selected me to remain a member of its distinguished Teaching Artist Residency Program for another 5 year period. Through my affiliation with ArtsWestchester I have taught diverse student populations. I begin developing my art lessons by learning about my student’s interests. I often use children's books to either support or inspire my art lessons. During an artist residency at the Mount Vernon Public Library I made strong connections between literacy and the arts. Jennie’s Hat and Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats inspired the collaging activities I developed and taught. I chose books by Keats because they reflect the diverse population at the library as well as offer strong colors and shapes to guide the children’s artwork. Children collaged their own hats made from oak tag. The inside of recycled shoeboxes provided a great surface for children to collage their favorite scene from Snowy Day. My programming resonated with the children because it was meaningful and had purpose. Children had fun while learning. Being an ArtsWestchester Teaching Artist is one of my proudest accomplishments as a teacher and I look forward to working with ArtsWestchester for many years to come.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


This mosaic project was inspired by a bag of leftover red kidney beans. The students in my summer art class used recycled red kidney beans along with an assortment of colored beans, pasta, tiles, and gems to create mosaics. I suggested they create a design that was very open (not a lot of details), but they decided what their mosaic would be - either something real or imaginary. Designs ranged from smiley faces, to Kermit the Frog, to a strawberry. The tree (pictured above) has a very ethereal feeling and may be more imaginary than real.  A background made-up of blue-green pasta gives the mosaic (above right) dimension. The students patiently placed the elements down. One girl broke the pasta into smaller pieces (Strawberry) so that it would lay flat. Another girl spent several class periods gluing rows of green and yellow peas for the background of her cat mosaic. Looking around the classroom at the completed mosaics I was really impressed. I saw a wide range of designs that were executed with great attention to detail and care. It felt good knowing that materials in the classroom that had been used for other projects were being repurposed in new and exciting ways. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Westchester Biennial 2014

Two of my original collages were on exhibit at the 9th Westchester Biennial at Castle Gallery in New Rochelle, NY. I was one of 29 artists selected (from a group of 100 applicants) by an impartial jury to participate in the exhibition. Night Sky (pictured) and Montauk are inspired by my memories of summer and being outdoors. When I collage I review my materials, break them down, then reassemble them into a story or mood I am trying to express. I use an archival support and recycled papers, so there is very little waste. You can view my collages in my online Gallery and ETSY shop.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Papier Mâché Mask

This past year I have challenged the students I teach by introducing them to a wide variety of art mediums, techniques and projects. I pushed myself as well to come up with new ideas and make what I teach relevant to my students. I am excited about the results I have seen in my student's work. Recently one of the students I teach one-on-one made a Papier Mâché mask. He is a big fan of fantasy and made his mask to look like an alien. Layers of newspaper strips coated with a flour and water mixture were applied to a balloon. The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears were created using scrunched up newspaper and secured to the mask with additional newspaper strips. Once the mask had a sufficient amount of layers it was left to dry. After the Papier Mâché was dry the balloon was popped and removed. With a scissor my student cut the balloon in half (vertically) leaving two perfect halves. One mask he used an additive process - added extra paper to make the features of a face (above). The other half was a blank mask waiting for the eyes, nose, mouth (with sharp teeth) to be cut away (subtractive) with a box cutter to reveal another mask.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

BASC Puppet Show

For the past three months the students in my Spring puppetry class made a variety of puppets, created a puppet stage from a recycled refrigerator box, and as the culminating event put on a puppet show. Meow, Meow, and Ruff, Ruff, is an original puppet show written, directed and performed by the students. I am very proud of my students for collaborating on ideas, working together and giving wonderful puppet performances.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dara Kane Collage Featured on ETSY

Etsy is an online community where you can buy and sell handmade goods, vintage items, and related supplies. I have a shop on Etsy where I sell my original collages. I have made a few sales over the years, but more importantly it has given me a forum to show my original collages. Night Out, one of my collages, is featured in two ETSY Treasuries. A Treasury is a collection of items that have been selected by a member on Etsy. The  items usually have something in common such as a theme, color, or texture. Every Treasury is unique. It is meaningful to me to that my artwork continues to be selected by my peers on Etsy.
Links to both Treasuries:
Lightness of Being
Spring Meditation

Visit my ETSY shop:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrating Israel Independence Day at Temple Beth El

Friday, April 25, 2014 @7pm
Temple Beth El
220 South Bedford Road (RT. 117)
Chappaqua, NY 10514 
I will be returning to Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, NY to lead an evening of arts and crafts activites in honor of Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut), which begins on Monday May 5th. The children will be making an Israeli flag, a wreath with motifs related to Israel, and beading with blue and white beads. In addition, a craft table will be set up so children can create their own artwork to celebrate the holiday. 

I am available to lead an arts and crafts event for you or your organization. I can develop art activities that reflect the theme of your event. All activities are age appropriate and can be modified. Contact me for more information and rates.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Paper Plate Puppet

Rrrr-o-a-rrr! I had so much fun making this puppet out of a white paper plate, large craft stick, two pieces of colored construction paper, felt, and glue. I did not spend much time planning out my design. I used my scissors to create the curvy mane and the golden felt highlights. Leftover scraps of felt were used to  make fierce eyes. I attached my craft stick with a stapler to the plate. Then, I glued the lion's mouth on top of the staples so they are not noticeable.
I usually do not make samples of art projects, however, sometimes it is necessary. It can be helpful to have a visual aid when explaining an art project. It also gives students an idea of what my expectations are and motivates them to push themselves creatively. It is important to me that my students work hard, make an effort and complete their art projects to the best of their ability.

Monday, March 17, 2014

9th Westchester Biennial

Castle Gallery
at The College of New Rochelle
Westchester Biennial 2014 
April 22 – June 20, 2014 
Opening Reception is May 4th, 2014 from 2-4 pm

I am thrilled that two of my original collages have been to selected to be included in Castle Gallery’s Westchester Biennial 2014, which will celebrate its ninth juried art exhibition. The exhibit, which showcases recent work by emerging and established Westchester county artists, began in 1998. This show is unique for being the only one of its kind, open exclusively to Westchester county artists. Featured artworks were selected by notable jurors from outside of the county to encourage fairness in judging. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Toilet Paper Roll Puppet

This adorable penguin hand puppet was made from a recycled toilet paper roll! I started off by covering the roll with colored construction paper. I made sure to add details found on a penguin, so that it would be recognizable. However, I did not try to make every detail perfect. For a touch of whimsey I added a bow tie. I stuffed colored tissue paper into the center of the tube to create the penguin's head. If you are a stickler for symmetry cut matching elements at the same time. Draw an eye, ear, wing, paw, arm, or leg on a piece of paper, then put another piece of paper behind your first piece of paper. Cut both pieces of paper at the same time. This will insure that whatever you are cutting will be a matching pair. There are many great ideas for toilet paper hand puppets on the Internet. Or, use your imagination and come up with a totally original creation!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spoon Puppet

Wooden spoons usually used in the kitchen make an excellent puppet. The spoon part is a great surface to glue notions onto. Use your imagination to come up with a unique character. A wide variety of interesting materials help spark ideas and support the creative process. Feathers, yarn, buttons, ribbon, felt, fabric, pom poms, construction paper, markers, and foam shapes are good materials for puppet making and can be used in many different ways. You can use the spoon's handle to move the puppet. Cover the handle of the spoon puppet with a piece of felt so that your hand is not noticeable. Poke a tiny hole in the middle of your fabric and pull the handle through the hole. Your hand should be completely covered by the fabric. Use your thumb and pointer finger as the puppet's hands. Wrap rubber bands around the thumb and pointer finger to hold the fabric in place and define the puppet's arms. Making puppets can be an easy and fun activity. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Paper Bag Puppets

The same lunch bags you use to pack your lunch every day can also make a great foundation for a hand puppet. You can use the classic brown paper bag or paper bags that come in different colors. I emphasize to my students that the puppet needs to have eyes, ears, a nose, hair and clothes. If the puppet is going to be an animal then it needs to have the appropriate features and markings (spots, strips, tail, whiskers, etc). Construction paper, colored styrofoam and crinkled paper strips (packaging material from a gift) were all found around the house and used to make this paper bag puppet in the photo above. I like paper bag puppets because they are an accessible and affordable art project for kids. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Puppet on a Stick

The students in my puppetry class made adorable puppets on a stick. Although every student started with the same materials - a straw, white paper cup, and Styrofoam ball - each puppet quickly took on its own distinct personality. Foam beads were attached with toothpicks, and were used to make arms, legs, hair, eyes, and noses. One child made patterns with the foam beads. Yarn turned into hair and a mouth. Googly eyes were self adhesive and easy for the kids to work with. A pom pom made a great bushy tail. Clothes were created by covering the paper cup with felt. I encouraged the children to keep adding on to the puppet. Facial features, limbs, clothes, and hair ribbons help bring these puppets to life. What you do not see is the the straw, which is inside the paper cup. Poke a hole through the bottom of the paper cup with the pointy end of a pencil. Push the straw through the hole at the bottom of the cup. Attach the Styrofoam ball by pushing it on to the top of the straw until it feels secure. The straw easily moves the puppet's head up and down. The cup has some ability to move as well.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Envelope Puppet

Making hand puppets out of envelopes is fun and can be done with materials you probably have at home. I used an oversized envelope that came with a birthday card. The envelope measured about 5" x 7" and the paper was a good quality that did not fall apart as I manipulated it into a puppet. The first thing I did was seal the flap of the envelope down. Then I cut along the top of the envelope (cut a very thin strip). The next step is tricky and you will need to manipulate the envelope with your fingers. Turn the envelope on its end so the long sides are straight up and down. Open the envelope and place your thumb in the bottom inside corner and your middle and ring finger in the top  inside corner. Place your index finger of your other hand on the outside of the envelope about half way between your thumb and your other two fingers. Apply slow pressure so the paper bends and you get a big mouth that can be decorated. This is a simple puppet for beginners to try. For children who have more experience challenge them to create a more complex puppet. Bring your puppet to life with markers, pom-poms, fabric, colored construction paper, yarn, googly eyes, and cotton balls.